|Full name||Egan Arley Bernal Gómez|
|Born||13 January 1997|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||60 kg (132 lb; 9 st 6 lb)|
|Current team||Ineos Grenadiers|
|Rider type||Climbing specialist|
| Grand Tours |
Egan Arley Bernal Gómez (born 13 January 1997) is a Colombian cyclist who rides for UCI WorldTeam Ineos Grenadiers.In 2019 he won the Tour de France, becoming the first Latin American rider to do so, and the youngest winner since 1909. At the 2021 Giro d'Italia, Bernal took his second Grand Tour win.
Bernal was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and raised in Zipaquirá. He is the oldest child of Germán, an employee at the Salt Cathedral, and Flor, a flower factory worker. His father had been a keen amateur cyclist, and he started riding on a second hand bicycle at age five. At nine, against his father's wishes, he entered and easily won a race in his home town, the prize for which included a training scholarship.He studied one semester at Universidad de la Sabana in Chia, Colombia.
He initially focused on and excelled at mountain biking, winning races in Brazil, Costa Rica, and the United States, and getting both silver (2014) and bronze (2015) in the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships junior cross country events.
Alongside mountain biking, Bernal had begun to gain success in junior road racing both in Colombia and Italy, winning the Clasica Juventudes Cajicaand the Sognando Il Giro delle Fiandre in 2015.
Bernal was signed by Gianni Savio to the Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec team on a four year contract, partly on the evidence of a VO2 max reading of 88.8ml/kg/min provided by his agent, Paolo Alberati.He began racing among seniors right away, bypassing the usual U23 career route. In 2016, he obtained top 20 results in the La Méditerranéenne, the GP Industria & Artigianato, Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali and Giro del Trentino, before winning the (then) lower level Tour of Bihor and coming fourth in both the Tour de Slovenie and the Tour de l'Avenir.
2017 saw top ten finishes for Bernal in the Vuelta a San Juan and the Tour de Langkawi.He later finished third overall in the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, second in the Giro dell'Appennino, and ninth in the Tour of the Alps. His first professional wins came in the Sibiu Cycling Tour, with two stage victories as well as the overall. He also won two stages and the overall title at the Tour de l'Avenir. Although he was still under contract to Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec and a contract buyout payment reported to be €350,000 was necessary, Bernal signed a five year deal with Team Sky from the 2018 season. He completed his time in Savio's team with fifth in the Giro della Toscana and top twenty places in Giro dell'Emilia, Milano–Torino and his first monument, Il Lombardia.
Bernal made his debut for Team Sky in the Tour Down Under as team co-leader, 20-kilometre (12-mile) climb on the last day.in which he won the young rider classification and finished sixth in the overall standings. In February 2018, Bernal won the Colombian National Time Trial Championships. He went on to win the first edition of the Tour Colombia (then called Colombia Oro y Paz), through an attack on the final
Bernal's next race was the Volta a Catalunya, in which he was second on general classification when he fell on a wet descent in the final stage, fracturing his clavicle and scapula.
The following month, Bernal competed in the Tour de Romandie, winning stage three of the race, an individual time trialand finishing second overall behind Primož Roglič. In May, Bernal achieved his first UCI World Tour win in the Tour of California, finishing over a minute ahead of Tejay van Garderen, and winning two stages.
In July, he rode the Tour de France as a domestique for team leaders Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas. He was the youngest participant in the race, and was still able to drop many contenders in the mountains.
Bernal started his 2019 season in Colombia. He rode in the national championships and in his home stage race, the Tour Colombia. Bernal, however, was unable to defend his title in the race, finishing fourth overall. Bernal later went to Europe to compete in Paris–Nice. The Colombian impressed in the crosswinds, the individual time trial, and in the mountains, claiming the overall victory ahead of Nairo Quintana.
Bernal next finished third in the Volta a Catalunya, and was scheduled to lead Team Ineos at the Giro d'Italia until he broke a collarbone in a training injury in Andorra.He returned to racing for the Tour de Suisse, in which he won the overall classification and the queen stage.
Bernal was elevated to be co-leader of the team with defending champion Thomas for the Tour de France, because of the absence through injury of Froome. After the stage 2 team time trial he had a top ten position in the general classification, which he retained, despite an unimpressive individual time trial performance, into the three decisive alpine stages. An attack on the last climb of stage 18 saw him move into second place overall, ahead of Thomas, and he took the yellow jersey as race leader on stage 19 after an attack on the Col de l'Iseran. The stage was shortened because of landslides and a severe hail storm with 38 km remaining. Although the stage positions were considered null, times were taken at the top of the Iseran, putting Bernal in the lead with margins of forty five seconds over previous leader Julian Alaphilippe and one minute and eleven seconds over Thomas. He defended his lead on stage 20, another mountain stage, and confirmed his victory with the largely ceremonial ride onto the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
He thus became the first Colombian or South American rider, and second from the Americas,to win the Tour de France, and also won the best young rider competition. At the time he was the youngest General Classification winner since 1909 and the third youngest ever at 22 years, 196 days. “It’s incredible, I don’t know what to say,” Bernal said. “I’ve won the Tour but I don’t manage to believe it. I need a couple of days to assimilate all this. It’s for my family and I just want to hug them. It’s a feeling of happiness that I don’t know how to describe it.” The young champion cyclist went on to say the victory was also for his home country of Colombia. “This is not only my triumph,” Bernal said. “It’s the triumph of a whole country.”
In early 2020, Bernal finished fourth at the Tour Colombia. After the coronavirus break, he won the Route d'Occitanie, and finished second at the Tour de l'Ain. At the Colombian Road Race Championships, he claimed podiums in both the road race and time trial.
At the Tour de France, Bernal was in the top ten of the general classification from stage 2 to stage 14, and led the young rider classification for five stages, but having been 59 seconds behind the leader after stage 14 he lost considerable time on the next two days, after which he withdrew from the race with back pain.
After some early season stage races, including the Tour de la Provence where he took third place,he finished third in Strade Bianche, and in the Tirreno-Adriatico he managed one top five stage finish, and finished in fourth place, 4'13" behind winner Tadej Pogačar.
Bernal entered the 2021 Giro d'Italia as one of the favourites for the race.On the sixth stage to San Giacomo, Bernal put time into his rivals by finishing second behind stage winner Gino Mäder and moving into third place in the overall standings, 16 seconds behind new leader Attila Valter. On the race's ninth stage , Bernal took the first Grand Tour stage win of his career as well as the pink jersey with an attack on the gravel section at the end of the final climb to Campo Felice, emerging with a 15 second lead in the general classification over Remco Evenepoel. Bernal extended his lead on the second stage of the race with gravel sectors, stage 11 to Montalcino, where several of his general classification rivals lost time, including Evenepoel, giving Bernal a 45 second lead over Aleksander Vlasov. He took more time out of his rivals on stage 14, latching onto an attack by Simon Yates on the final climb up Monte Zoncolan before overhauling him to finish the stage in fourth and take a lead of over one and a half minutes in the general classification over Yates, who moved into the runner-up position. Bernal took his second stage win of the race on the sixteenth stage to Cortina d'Ampezzo, which was shortened due to poor weather, crossing the finish line 27 seconds in front of Romain Bardet and Damiano Caruso and opening up a lead in the overall standings of almost two and a half minutes over the latter going into the second rest day.
On the race's final week Bernal maintained his lead over Caruso but lost time to Yates, with the latter and João Almeida distancing Bernal on stage 17's finishing climb to Sega di Ala, cutting the gap between Bernal and Yates by almost a minute,and Yates again attacking on stage 19's final ascent up Alpe di Mera with about six and a half kilometres to go, going on to win the stage with Bernal almost half a minute behind. On the final mountain stage, Caruso and his teammate Pello Bilbao distanced Bernal on the descent of the San Bernardino Pass 50 km from the finish in pursuit of a group of riders from Team DSM including Bardet before working with riders from an earlier breakaway to extend their lead over Bernal to 50 seconds up the penultimate climb of the Splügen Pass. Bernal and his teammates were able to reduce the gap to less than half a minute by the time Caruso crossed the finish line on the Alpe Motta to win the stage, reducing Bernal's general classification lead to just under two minutes. Bernal secured the pink jersey on the final time trial in Milan, conceding another 30 seconds to Caruso to win by a one and a half minute margin. He became the fourth rider to win both the Tour and the Giro before reaching the age of 25, after Gino Bartali, Felice Gimondi and Eddy Merckx, and also the fourth rider to win both the overall and youth classifications in the same Giro, alongside Evgeni Berzin, countryman Nairo Quintana and teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart.
Bernal entered the 2021 Vuelta a España with a very strong team that also included Richard Carapaz and Adam Yates. By his own standards he rode poorly early in the race and was not happy with his own performance. Despite this his took over the young rider classification after stage 3 and was in a top 10 position among the general classification riders for most of the race. On stage 17 which included the climb to the Lagos de Covadonga he launched an attack with 61 kilometers to go.Primož Roglič was the only rider who could go with him and the two continuously built a gap over the other favorites. By the end of the stage he had fallen back and crossed the line with the surviving general classification riders still maintaining his lead over Gino Mäder in the young rider competition and rising to 6th place overall. On the penultimate climb of the race he got caught out in a split among the GC riders and lost the young rider jersey to Mäder, but retained his 6th place after the final ITT on stage 21.
|Grand Tour general classification|
|Tour de France||—||15||1||DNF||—|
|Vuelta a España||—||—||—||—||6|
|Major stage race general classification|
|Volta a Catalunya||—||DNF||3||NH||—|
|Tour of the Basque Country||—||—||—||—|
|Tour de Romandie||—||2||—||—|
|Critérium du Dauphiné||—||—||—||DNF||—|
|Tour de Suisse||—||—||1||NH||—|
|—||Did not compete|
|DNF||Did not finish|
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“I feel this is not only my triumph, but the triumph of a whole country,” Bernal said Saturday (via NBC). “ . . . It’s a great honor to think that I’m the one achieving this. My dad couldn’t talk at first, but when he managed, he congratulated me. He was about to cry. For us, it’s a dream. We used to watch the Tour on TV and we thought it was something unreachable. . . .
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